Friday, December 11, 2009

The Latest Horror Story From Zimbabwe

Just when you think the news from Zimbabwe can't get any worse, it does.

In March of last year, Robert Mugabe, the only president Zimbabwe has ever had since winning its independence from the British, apparently forgot to rig the latest election, putting him in the uncomfortable position of facing a runoff against his challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai. For Round Two, Mugabe's ZANU-PF party didn't bother to rig the election itself, they instead engaged in a terror campaign against members of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, until Tsvangirai finally dropped out of the race in an effort to protect his supporters.

At the time we knew about the arbitrary arrests, beatings and even murders of some MDC supporters at the hands of Mugabe's ZANU-PF. What we didn't know about until this week though was the ZANU-PF's systematic use of rape as a weapon. According to a study by the charity Aids-Free World, published by the London Telegraph, the ZANU-PF committed at least 380 rapes of MDC supporters. The ZANU-PF even had centers set up so that the rapes of women, and in some cases children, could be carried out more efficiently.

But wait, it gets worse. At least nine women interviewed said that they believed they were also infected with HIV during the attacks. One woman said her attacker told her she'd been given HIV and asked if she thought that Tsvangirai would take care of her family.

Eventually Mugabe's ZANU-PF was forced into a power-sharing government with Tsvangirai and the MDC, though the ZANU-PF has consistently failed to live up to the terms of the agreement during the past year and a half. It begs the question why any governments in the region still support the wretched Robert Mugabe? (We're looking at you South Africa.)
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